Razor-qt is a relatively new desktop environment built atop Qt technologies. From the ground up, it is designed to be resource-friendly, so that it can run on old and new computers alike. It hasn’t gotten a lot of press, but I’ve been keeping track of its development since it was started.

The latest edition is Razor-qt 0.5.2. This article shows how to install it on Ubuntu 12.10 or any other edition of Ubuntu you might be running.

Because it is a relatively new project, do not be surprised at the occasional application-crash or some other error that signals instability in the system.

Installing Razor-qt in Ubuntu involves adding the repository, updating the applications database, and finally, installing the Razor-qt packages.

1. Add Razor-qt Repository: To add the Razor-qt repository to your software sources, type:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:razor-qt

2. Update Applications Database: To update the applications database, type: sudo apt-get update

3. Install Razor-qt: You can install it from the command line or via the Software Center, if you prefer working with a graphical interface. From the command line (first launch a terminal), type: sudo apt-get install razorqt

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To install it via a graphical interface, start Software Center and search for “razorqt.”
Install Razor-qt Ubuntu 12.10

After installation, log out, then log back in. Be sure to select Razor Desktop from the Session menu.
Razor-qt Session Ubuntu 12.10

You’ll see this small window after the login screen. What the system requires is a window manager to work with. Razor-qt can use any window manager. Your choice here will depend on what your distribution is using. Click on Other… and then on the OK button.
Razor-qt Ubuntu Window Manager

Ubuntu uses the Lightdm window manager. You will, however, not find it under /usr/bin, but rather, under /usr/sbin. So you need to change the directory here.
Razor-qt Ubuntu Window Manager

Now you should be in the /usr/sbin directory. The choice should be lightdm-session.
Razor-qt Ubuntu Window Manager Lightdm

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I included this screen shot to show what the wrong choice is. If you chose lightdm in error, go back to the previous screen and select lightdm-session.
Razor-qt Ubuntu 12.10

This is the default Razor-qt desktop. In some ways, it looks like a GNOME 2 or Cinnamon or MATE desktop. But unlike those desktop environments, it is, like KDE, built on Qt technologies.
Razor-qt Desktop Ubuntu 12.10

It uses the old-style or classic menu. Note that some of the menu entries are specific to the Unity desktop, so don’t expect them to work.
Razor-qt Desktop Menu Ubuntu 12.10

Like KDE, pressing the Alt and F2 keys will start the built-in search tool. Here, it is called Razor-runner, not Krunner.
Razor-qt Alt Runner Ubuntu 12.10

Razor-qt-specific configurations tools are incorporated into the control center.
Razor-qt Settings Ubuntu 12.10

These two screen shots have been included just to show a couple of the applications that crashed on my test system. Rebooting or login out and then back in fixed whatever bug caused them to crash.
Error Razor-qt Ubuntu 12.10

Error Razor-qt Ubuntu 12.10

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4 Responses

  1. My biggest problem with razorQT is its lack of a way to switch mouse buttons. As a lefty, that function is important. I had to insert a command/setting into the auto start of the razorQTsession config.

    xmodmap -e “pointer = 3 2 1 4 5”

    A user should not have to do that.

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